Lowland Forests | WWF Malaysia

Lowland Forests

The lowland forest is one of the most complex, dense and species-rich forests. On one hand it has great value for wildlife conservation and scientific research; on the other, it is the type of forest that's under enormous threat because of its value for commercial timber extraction. And therein lies the dilemma.

The term tropical lowland forest is used to describe forest where there is little or no seasonal water shortage and where the climate is continuously warm and humid (humidity can reach 100% at night). Within this environment there are more than 2,000 species of tree and plant forms, as well as a diverse range of animal and insect species. Some are endangered, some are endemic, while there are others that have yet to be discovered and studied.

The tree canopy of a lowland forest has three layers. The upper layer towers at between 30 to 40 m, with occasional giants of 60 m, while the second layer is between 23 to 30 m. The lower level is made up of saplings of a number of species. The ground vegetation is often sparse and comprises mainly small trees and herbs.